True Ghost Town: Stady, North Dakota

Stady, North Dakota

Stady was founded in 1907 and was a stopping point on old highway 85. The peak population of 60 had dropped to 11 by 1940, after the highway moved. Stady is now a true ghost town — totally abandoned.

MJ Masilko contributed these photos with the following comments:

I’m sending you some pictures I took in May of 2006 of a ghost town called Stady. It’s in Divide County, 16 miles SSW of Fortuna. There didn’t seem to be any people living there, and we only saw 3 structures: a store, a house, and something else (maybe another store).

Stady, North Dakota

The old Stady store was in pretty bad shape when MJ visited in 2006.

Stady, North Dakota

We have some photos of Stady as it looked in 1915, when it was still something of a town.

Stady, North Dakota

Stady, North Dakota

Looking out the front of the store. On the left, you can see the ruins of a former structure.

Stady, North Dakota

Stady, North Dakota

Stady, North Dakota

Connect with MJ on Facebook.

Epilogue: A visitor reports all above ground remains of Stady have been demolished due to instability and infestation concerns. The town once known as Stady, North Dakota is no more.

Photos by MJ Masilko. Original content copyright © Sonic Tremor Media

23 Comments on “True Ghost Town: Stady, North Dakota

  1. Stady had a newspaper, it was moved to Fortuna and became the Fortuna Leader.

  2. Here I am in Tucson, AZ sitting at my desk, looking through the pictures of Stady. I am glad to see that someone has documented it and shared it with the rest of the world. I have walked through many of the buildings pictured, looking for clues of a previous life. I haven’t been up to the Stady/Zahl area in years but its something that think about often.

  3. Every little reply from a local historian or resident of our little ‘towns’ in ND adds to a once very nice personal history that every reader can ponder and reminisce. Every little farmstead has a history. I do not doubt for a minute someone having lived or grew up in a ‘ghost’ town or abandoned farmstead contributed some solid basics to our great country.

  4. I went to Stady, North Dakota. Earlier this summer. Sadly, only the building in the last photo was still standing. Everything else appeared to have been bulldozed. There was only a small pile of rubble remaining.

  5. I am very interested in getting more information about Stady, ND, being that I am a Stady by birth. My first question is, who founded the town, when, and why was it named Stady?

    • Hi there Maggie Stady! My name is Patricia Stady! It was my great grandmother, Alice Stady that founded this town. She was born in Canada and moved down to North Dakota where she married and then it appears had two sons (one being my father’s father). Where do you live? There is great history in our family and I would love to know if and how you might be connected. I was born in Williston, ND and my parents brought us kids to Minnesota.
      Pat (Stady)

    • Hello Maggie,
      Maybe you might have known my Dad he was born near Stady in 1915. His name was Alfred Lund. He went to the Stady school. His Dad’s name was Hans Lund and his Mother’s name was Tillie Lund. It is interesting to find someone who was born there too.

  6. Pingback: Stady in 1915 :

  7. I appreciate your thoughts as it is my family history and great grandmother that founded this town. You must be from that area? This town was a significant part of my family history. A history that I am still piecing together. Thank you for your sentiments!
    Patricia Stady

  8. My Dad (Alfred Lund) was born not far from Stady and went to the Stady school. He was born in 1915 and his family moved to Minnesota in the 1930s when they lost their farm. I have the document that notified my Grand Mother they had lost it.

    • Hello Mr Lund. My name is Doug Hegle. I grew up in gwinner, N.D. In the mid 70s as a teenager I mowed the Winner Cemetery. One of the oldest headstones there belonged to Tillie Lund. Out of the hundreds of people buried there that stone and especially the name have been etched in my mind. I actually just googled her name after reading some ghost stories and it brought me to this ghost town page. I’ve always wondered who she was because I always felt strangely drawn to her grave. Its been about 40 years so I’m not sure but I thought this Tillie Lund passed away in 1880s or 90s.

  9. Many years ago, after spending the summer in Iowa with grandparents, my mother and grandparents drove to Stady area to visit, Grandparents were Ben and Rose Palmer but did not live in town and I would be hard pressed to tell you exactly where they lived. They had 3 children – June born in 1915 now deceased, Gordon 1918 and lives in Burlington IA, Cliff now deceased. We also had relatives in Fortuna and in Crosby. Moved to Bottineau in 1940 where I did my schooling and now live in Cottage Grove MN. But, no matter where I live now, North Dakota is always “home”

    • Hi Lois, My great aunts,uncles and grandparents were from Crosby and their last names were Olmsteads. Did you know any of them? or could tell me something of them? Thank You

  10. I grew up on a farm just a few miles east of Stady. My dad told me a story that involved Stady. One day his father, John Rude, loaded the whole family into the car and drove to Stady because a radio representative was giving a demonstration at the Stady Hall. People were excited about this new invention called the radio. Dad said there was a huge box with many tubes, knobs, and wires set up in the middle of the hall. The people sat down and quietly waited for the radio to play. The demonstrator was having some problems because he’d come out and fiddle with the wires and knobs. He would then go to the backroom. People started fidgeting and talking. Then a terrible screeching howling sound like that of an angry cat came from the radio speakers. The representative came from the back room and said, “That was Denver.” The people got up and went home greatly disappointed by the performance.

  11. What a wonderful history of a ghost town. I found this site while trying to find a home for some old photos – -one captioned Stady N. Dak. 1915 Andrew Wambem Farm William and Uncle Andrew on wagon.

  12. I’d leave my state of Massachusetts for even a day to just to visit Stady and other North Dakota towns in their heyday.

  13. Stady was one of the few towns in North Dakota that never had a railroad,it was called an inland town because of this.The store you see was a hardware store owned by 2 gentlemen named Lobac and Robinson.After the hiway 85 was moved 5 miles east they moved to Crosby to become insurance agents.At the end of main street there is an operating farm but I can not recall their name

  14. Stady was one of the few towns in North Dakota that never had a railroad,it was called an inland town because of this.The store you see was a hardware store owned by 2 gentlemen named Lobac and Robinson.After the hiway 85 was moved 5 miles east they moved to Crosby to become insurance agents.At the end of main street there is an operating farm but I can not recall their name

  15. I have a photo postcard of my great uncle along with some other gentlemen posing in front of a building. On the back is written, “Here we are in Stady, ND.” The postmark is 1906. I have no idea why he would have been there or who the other individuals are in the photo. Can I email it to you and have you post it in hopes of getting identification of the others? My great uncle was born, raised and farmed his entire life near Alexandria, MN. The photo is somewhat of a mystery.

    • Jerry, I can’t say who is in the pic, but I do know my great-grandparents (Arthur/Alice Robinson) moved from his family farm near Lake Andrew’s (near Alexandria, MN) and homesteaded near Stady in the 1905 timeframe. The book that mentions this history also mentions other neighbors from Alexandria, MN who made this move to Stady – Svonder, Heibel, Cihlar, Nelson, Lee, Van Dyke.

  16. Does anyone remember Hans Lund, Tillie Lund, Emma Lund, Andrew (Melvin) Lund, Alfred Lund, Clarence Lund, Millie Lund, Leonard Lund, or George Lund?
    They lived near Stady until the 1930s. I was there with my Dad (Alfred) in 1969 and the old school house was still there. I have one of the books I found there.

    • Art Robinson does. His dad had the store and the house in the pictures.

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